If Kerry’s story is a lie, it’s significant, but not because we have a gotcha moment – gee, a politician reworked the truth to his advantage, big surprise. This is much larger than that. This is like Bush insisting that he flew an intercept mission with the Texas Air National Guard to repel Soviet bombers based in Cuba, and later stating that this event was “seared in his memory – seared” because it taught him the necessity of standing up against evil governments, such as the ones we face today. In other words, it would not only be a lie, but one that eroded the political persona he was relying upon in the election. Kerry has made Vietnam central to his campaign. If he’s making crap up, it matters. But the story of the CIA agent he ferried into the Heart of Darkness gives the gotcha a curious twist; as lawyers say on TV courtroom dramas, it goes to state of mind. What sort of man bedecked with genuine decorations feels compelled to manufacture a story like this one?I agree with Lileks when he says, in effect:
"A politican lied. Wow."
But this story does illuminate the scene nicely, doesn't it? Kerry's campaign threatened to sue any station that ran the Swiftboat ad. Someone hacked into Barnes and Noble and changed the ad for the book. DNC hitmen have threatened to reveal divorce and other personal information about the Swiftboat vets. The Boston Globe ran a story (that was then picked up by wire services) that claimed one of the vets had retracted his claims about Kerry. That turned out to be errant. No front page spot for the vets in the NYT or WaPo yet.
Three things seem clear:
a) John Kerry will say anything in front of those adoring throngs on the campaign trail,
b) John Kerry believes no one else is paying attention to his proclamations, and
c) in the case of Major Media, he's right about b).
Maybe Major Media are part of his adoring throngs.
LILEKS (James) The Bleat